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Rover Ants Under Study

The tiny little rover ants, Brachymyrmex patagonicus, made the news a few weeks ago in an article in the Arizona Daily Star. Actually, it was about Javier Miguelena's doctoral research on rover ants. During his research, Miguelena found that rover ants need added moisture to do well in the deserts of Arizona. By adding water to the landscape, people are encouraging survival of rover ants.

When my son found a colony of rover ants in a potted plant we had just purchased at a plant sale this weekend, we decided to do some research ourselves. We separated the rover ants from the soil. There were 312 rover ants and 9 cocoons. We never found a queen, but we didn't remove all the soil from the plant's roots either.

Wonder where we'll find them next.

4 thoughts on “Rover Ants Under Study

  1. Javier Miguelena

    Hello,
    I am the graduate student that the article refers to. I am excited to learn that other people have an interest on rover ants. It is not surprising to me that you found that ant nest without a queen. Rover ants are very prone to having satellite nests away from the main nest with the queen. That is probably one of the reasons why they are difficult to manage as pests.
    Anyway, I just discovered your blog and I think you are doing a great job.
    Cheers,

  2. Roberta

    Great to hear from you. We have been watching the rover ants in our yard, mainly because they have driven out almost everything else. 🙂

  3. Michael Merchant

    Javier, we would be very interested in your research here in Texas also. Rover ants (B. patagonicus) are a growing problem in urban schools and homes throughout east Texas. Please keep us informed through ESA if you have any new information to share.

  4. James C. Trager

    Brachymyrmex - Formicinae's answer to thief ants. A grad student in Houston, Chris Wilson, is working on their taxonomy, which needs work!

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